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Posts Tagged ‘FIU.’

Thomas fired by Florida International University after three seasons

 

Isiah Thomas coaching Knicks (2007 photo by Keith Allison via wikipedia commons)

Florida International University is located in Miami, Florida.

The school is a Mid-major playing in the Sun Belt Conference of NCAA Division I. The enrollment is 47,966 students.

Three years ago the athletics department came up with the idea of bringing in a name basketball coach who could lure “big-time talent to the tropical paradise of South Florida. They felt they could win.

Entering the picture was former NBA star and coach Isiah Thomas to take a risk with an unknown program.

Thomas signed a five-year deal with the school to take the job, accepting nothing in base salary for his first season but agreeing to receive almost half of any gross revenues from ticket sales, commissions collected on food and beverage concessions and sponsorships.

Three years into the agreement, FIU did not see the fruits of his labor enough to reward the final two years of his contract.

The basketball program never was able to generate the enthusiasm that the school administration and Thomas had hoped. The Panthers averaged 1,071 fans at home this season.

One of the problems is that FIU tried to schedule games at home when the NBA’s Miami Heat were on the road and sometimes that didn’t work out because game dates and times have to be mutually agreed upon by both schools and the league it plays in.

Other factors that hurt FIU, is that the University of Miami draws huge crowds and has a winning team plus, Miami being a paradise city as mentioned before, there is the beach, surfing and volleyball for people to engage in.

(courtesy of Florida International University athletics)

The Panthers schedule was tough as well playing George Mason, Oral Roberts, Maryland, Dayton, Middle Tennessee State, South Alabama and Western Kentucky.

Thomas, the Basketball Hall of Fame player, was fired last Friday with a record of 26-55. His teams never won more than 11 games in a season.

FIU has never been a basketball power. The school’s last winning season was 1999-2000, and its winning percentage of .315 since that period of time is one of the worst in college basketball, 329th out of 344 Division I men’s programs, according to STATS LLC.

 

Info compiled from Radio, TV, Florida International, Internet reports

 

2010 LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL: Florida International beats Toledo, 34-32

(courtesy of Little Caesars Pizza Bowl via Wikipedia Commons)

Jack Griffin’s 34-yard field goal on the final play of the game gave Florida International a stunning, come-from-behind win over the Toledo Rockets, 34-32 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field.

The upstart Golden Panthers, playing in their first bowl game, faced fourth-and-17 on their final drive before picking up the first down on a hook-and-lateral to T.Y. Hilton.

Seconds later, Wes Carroll found Greg Ellingson across the middle of the field to the Toledo 22-yard line, setting up the final kick for FIU who finishes up 7-6.

The Rockets, who were the favorites and had most of the crowd at Ford Field rooting for them because Toledo, Ohio is just 46 miles south of Detroit, finishes the season at 8-5.

Toledo had taken the lead with 1:14 remaining on a touchdown run by Terrance Owens and a two-point conversion pass to Eric Page.

The two teams aren’t strangers. The Panthers beat the Rockets 35-16 in 2008. Toledo won 41-31 at FIU Stadium in 2009.

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL PANTHERS GAME NOTES

* FIU started the season at 0-4, losing on the road at Texas A&M, Maryland and Pittsburgh in exchange for huge paydays to help the program.

* This was their first bowl game.

* FIU had a 6-2 record in the Sun Belt Conference and made it to the postseason in the ninth season in the history of the program and its sixth year in the Football Subdivision level.

* The Panthers loss in their season finale to Middle Tennessee State cost them sole possession of first place in the Sun Belt.

* FIU has an explosive all-around player in junior T.Y. Hilton with 56 receptions for 816 yards and four touchdowns. As a running back from scrimmage, he has 26 carries for 278 yards with four TD’s.

* QB Wesley Carroll has completed 61.8% of his passes, but he takes too many risks throwing 13 interceptions compared to 15 interceptions.

TOLEDO ROCKETS GAME NOTES

* Made its first postseason appearance since 2005.

* Freshman QB Terrance Owens took over after Austin Dantin went down after the ninth game with a partially separated shoulder on October 30. Owens ends the season at 2-2 as the starter.

* The Rockets get their spark from sophomore wide receiver Eric Page, who won All-Mid-American Conference honors as a receiver and kick returner. Page is 10th in the nation in all-purpose yardage (158.8). He is fifth in the nation with 94 receptions and is the only player in the Football Subdivision this season with three kickoff returns for a touchdown. He has also thrown for three scores.

* LB Archie Donald is the first Toledo player to lead the team in tackles for four consecutive years. Donald tied for the MAC lead in tackles with 134 and had three interceptions.

* RB Adonis Thomas is second in the Mid-American Conference with 905 rushing yards, averaging 6 yards a carry, and had 29 receptions.


compiled from Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Florida International & Toledo athletics news

Garrett Wittels hitting streak at 56 games; it’ll continue in 2011

compiled from staff, wire and Florida International news

Robin Ventura’s 58 game hitting streak is safe until the 2011 season. But Garrett Wittels now knows how Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio felt like when he reached 56 games in a row.

Wittels extended his hitting streak to 56 games on Saturday, the same number of  Joe DiMaggio’s major league record hit streak in 1941, but Wittels’ Golden Panthers baseball team were eliminated from the Coral Gables, Florida NCAA regional with a 15-9 loss to Dartmouth College.

Garrett Wittels (FIU)

Wittels hit an RBI double in the first inning, leaving him two games shy of the NCAA Division I record set by Oklahoma State’s Robin Ventura in 1987. Wittels attempt to break that mark will resume during the 2011 season which will began in February.

Garrett Wittels went 3 for 5 in the game and finished the season with a .417 average and a FIU season-record 100 hits. He broke the previous school record of 98 set by Kenny Aderley in 1986.

Wittels began his streak with a bunt single in the Golden Panthers’ season opening game against Maryland way back on February 19.

FIU, ending the season at 36-25, failed to provide Wittels another game to extend the hitting streak this season after blowing an early four-run lead.

Wittels hit streak reaches 55 in 17-3 loss to Texas A&M

compiled from staff, wire and Florida International University news

Florida International University’s Garrett Wittels extended his hitting streak to 55 games against Texas A&M pitcher Barret Loux who shut down the Golden Panthers offense as Texas A&M won 17-3 on Friday in the opening game of the the Coral Gables Regional.

Garrett Wittels (FIU photo)

Loux (11-2) gave up six hits and struck out 10 in eight innings.

Adam Smith, Joe Patterson, Matt Juengel and Brodie Greene all homered and drove in three runs apiece for the Aggies (41-19-1). Kevin Gonzalez also got in on the home run act for Texas A&M, which set a season-high for hits with 20.

Wittels went 1 for 4 and moved to within three games of matching Robin Ventura’s Division I record 58-game hitting streak with a sixth-inning double for FIU (36-24).

FIU wins Sun Belt; Wittels hitting streak moves to 54 games in a row

compiled from staff, wire and Florida International news

The Florida International University baseball team (36-23) defeated the Troy Trojans, 14-10, to claim its first Sun Belt Conference Tournament title since 1999, the Golden Panthers first season as a member of the SBC. The Golden Panthers set Sun Belt Conference records in hits, runs scored and batting average for the entire championship, en route to a berth in the NCAA  Tournament.

Garrett Wittels (FIU)

Jeremy Patton, Pablo Bermudez and Garrett Wittels were named to the Sun Belt All-Tournament team while Patton was also named Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament.

With a single in the championship game, FIU infielder Garrett Wittels extending his hitting streak to 54 games on the season.

Wittels is now four shy of tying Robin Ventura’s NCAA Division I record of 58 games set in 1987. Three players in Division I and Major League Baseball have accomplished such a feat, with the third being Yankee great and Hall of Famer, Joe DiMaggio who hit in 56-straight games in 1941.

Robin Ventura hit in 58 games in a row for Oklahoma State in 1987.

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